Mark 7:20-23

20And he said, ‘It is what comes out of a person that defiles. 21 For it is from within, from the human heart, that evil intentions come:fornication, theft, murder, 22adultery, avarice, wickedness, deceit, licentiousness, envy, slander, pride, folly. 23All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.’

You can judge a tree by its fruit. In a sense, this is similar to what Jesus is trying to get across. Just before this, Jesus declares that all foods are clean, doing away with the ritual laws of the time. He says that it’s not what goes in that defiles. Rather, it is what comes out that is displays good or ill.

Many of us probably think we are good people because we go to church, we say our prayers, and we have a little Christian fish symbol on our cars. But Jesus wants us to go deeper. Look at the things that we do, because they are the true judge of us. If we cut somebody off as we driving out of the church parking lot, that’s a much better indicator of who we are. Look at your money. Where are you spending it? More Americans buy Christmas gifts for their pets than their neighbors. Though you are celebrating Christmas either way, only one is clearly an indicator of neighborly love.

Spend a few moments and look back at your life. What are the fruits that you have produced for God’s Kingdom?

The Rev. Jimmy Abbott